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Detroit Lions Week 10 PFF grades recap: The Lions defensive line is... good?

Breaking down the best and worst Lions performances from the Bears game

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

While the Detroit Lions’ overall performance against the Chicago Bears was nowhere near acceptable, there were some serious silver linings to take solace in. Here’s a look at the highest graded Lions player on each side of the ball, according to Pro Football Focus.

Offense

It was an ugly day on offense against the Bears, but the two best performers were their skill-position players. Theo Riddick—the Lions’ new Golden Tate—had an impressive day, Since the trade, Riddick has caught 13 of his 15 targets. While Riddick isn’t alone taking over Tate’s production, he did lead all NFL running backs with 13 snaps from the slot last week, per PFF.

It’s probably pretty surprising to see a couple of offensive linemen among the top five, considering the Lions gave up six sacks, but those aren’t exactly great grades for Taylor Decker or Graham Glasgow.

As for Matthew Stafford, according to Brett Whitefield from PFF, he is having one of the worst streaks of his career. He has graded below 60 in three straight games (57.1 for this game). His overall grade in the past three weeks has been just 52.5, which ranks him 28th among NFL quarterbacks. His accuracy was the cause of a lot of problems against the Bears. PFF’s “adjusted completion percentage” for Stafford was only 62.5, which was the second worst among quarterbacks in Week 10.

Defense

For the third straight week, Damon Harrison has been the highest graded Lions player on defense. This week, Harrison led all Week 10 interior defenders with six run stops. So maybe don’t be so hard on yourself, “Snacks.”

But look at the rest of that defensive line! Ezekiel Ansah barely made the cut in terms of minimum snaps (he had exactly 15), but his high grade is based on the three pressures he created in limited opportunities. Elsewhere, both A’Shawn Robinson and Da’Shawn Hand continued their impressive season. Note how all five of these defensive players graded out better than anyone on offense.

Though Ansah isn’t likely to be on the team next year, the performance of the other three defensive linemen is certainly promising for 2019.

But we can’t talk about the Lions’ defensive performance against the Bears without talking about the secondary. I’ll let Whitefield break the bad news:

With Darius Slay sidelined due to injury, the Lions relied on Nevin Lawson and DeShawn Shead outside at cornerback. The two combined to allow a nearly perfect passer rating of 156.3 on 64 coverage snaps. Lawson’s Coverage Grade of 42.5 ranks 142nd out of 152 CBs in Week 10. While Shead didn’t fare much better with a 48.9 Coverage Grade, ranking him 127th.

Detroit’s secondary is badly broken. Expect it to be a huge priority this upcoming offseason.